In the novels of Arthur C. Clarke, a class of certain pieces of computer program code similar to computer viruses or Trojan horses but far more deadly. (The term "software weapon" was not used in the book; I am labeling these pieces of code by their function. -- Erbo) The function of these programs, in general, was to persuade a computer to devote its resources to calculating a result that would take an inordinately long (or possibly infinite) time to complete--in essence, the ultimate denial of service attack.

These programs were far more sophisticated than, for instance, a program to compute the value of Pi to the last significant digit (which a host machine could detect and stop), as they always presented the appearance that their task could be completed in finite time, hence "fooling" their host machines. They were so sophisticated that there was no cure for a machine affected by one; in some cases, a cure was a mathematical impossibility. They were given "names" by the researchers that discovered them generally reflecting the mathematics that went into them; some examples were:

Many examples of these weapons were stored, along with a variety of other biological and cybernetic weapons, in a secure vault within Mt. Pico on the Moon. A number of these programs were combined into a weapon package to destroy the Europan Monolith in 3001, after it became apparent that the Monolith might very well destroy Earth. The weapon was delivered by David Bowman and HAL 9000 to the Monolith, and its effects were successful in destroying the Monolith. Some of the programs, however, "infected" Bowman and HAL, who were placed, in storage on a petabyte memory tablet, in the Pico Vault in hopes that a way might be found to restore them one day.

Source: Arthur C. Clarke, 3001: The Final Odyssey

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